I was just at a local Verizon store. I asked the sales people if they had any information on the HTC Passion. They had never heard of it. However, one of them looked it up in their system. Guess what? The Passion was listed in their system. It was listed as "HTC Passion 1GHz Processor Coming Holiday 2009". That's it. That made me so happy. I was like "Thank You" and left.
That definitely is proof that it is coming out before the end of the year unless something changes.